Do you remember that time when you were 3 years old and you fell on the pavement and busted your lip, your elbow, your knee and the palms of both your hands? That was your first big injury. I mean, up to that point, nothing had ever really hurt like that. It was a bad fall and there was a lot of blood. In those moments after the fall, the pain was the only thing happening in the whole universe, right? It was all you could feel, and all you could think about. Do you remember it? Can you reach back into your memory and reconnect with that pain? (And I don’t mean calling to mind a recent injury and applying its pain to the 3 year-old fall) I mean, can you remember the actual pain you felt after falling on the pavement at age 3?
Go ahead… strain. Try to remember it.
You can’t. That fall happened a long time ago and you’ve slept since then. You stopped bleeding, your injuries healed and you went on living your life. Since that fall, you’ve laughed, cried, grown, learned and experienced all kinds of stuff! That injury is such a distant memory that you simply never even think about it. In fact, you wouldn’t be thinking about it right now unless I brought it up, right?
Check out what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17 - “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
You see, as people who know and love Jesus, we believe in heaven. We believe that in the very instant we close our eyes on this world at the end of our lives, we will open them onto the face of Jesus Himself, and we’ll spend eternity in unimaginably amazing paradise with Him. When we get there, we’re going to see all of this life and all of its many troubles were only an instant compared to what lies ahead of us. In that very first moment when we see the face of Jesus, we’re going to realize that everything hard we had to go through was nothing compared to what Jesus has in store for us.
Now, that doesn’t mean your troubles aren’t hard. That doesn’t mean your pain isn’t real. It doesn’t mean your sucky circumstances don’t suck. They do suck, your pain is real and your troubles are hard - which is amazing because, if all our pain is “light and momentary” compared to what Jesus has in store, and all our troubles are real and sucky and difficult, then just imagine how amazing heaven is going to be! Wow. It’s apparently so freaking incredible that it has the power to make people call their problems “light and momentary.” Can you imagine that? Can you imagine a place so amazing that victims of prejudice, injustice, genocide, hate, poverty and all other forms of evil will call those troubles “light and momentary” and mean it?! The glory of heaven is so great, it actually has the power to make us forget the sting of our pain.
Dang. That’s where I want to be, and because of Jesus, that’s where I will be. If you love Him, you will be too. And once you’re there, even you will say that this life’s troubles were “light and momentary.” Even you will forget the sting of your pain.